Below features our most recent releases.
As one of the most-celebrated auteurs of his generation of hip hop artists, Black Milk has conditioned fans and critics to always expect the unexpected each time he releases new music. Few producers have earned the notoriety and respect he has as a musician, and when that is coupled with commanding talent as an emcee, it’s no surprise that his solo releases are met with exalted anticipation. The new full-length album “No Poison No Paradise” continues Black Milk’s trend of releasing material that maintains his signature sound while pushing it into new territory. Musically, each of Black Milk’s releases have kept one foot dipped in classical boom-bap and the other stomping with a fierce originality and willingness to expand his listeners’ sonic palate. “No Poison No Paradise” leaves behind the density and heavily- layered sounds of his 2010 release “Album of the Year” in favor of a more stripped-down approach. Some tracks showcase the raw sample-driven styles that helped make him one of Detroit’s hottest young talents nearly a decade ago. Others flex some of the sophistication and musicality that have helped to make his live show among the most-acclaimed in hip hop. Whichever direction he decides to take it, all of the trademark characteristics of Black’s music are fully apparent throughout the album: hard drums, melodic synths, and nimble flows. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of “No Poison No Paradise” is the evolution of Black Milk’s lyrical style. While he’s never been shy to get personal on the mic, Black introduces a refined ability as a storyteller on the new release, mostly told through the dreams of a character named Sonny. The album’s songs are steeped in autobiographical themes and construct rich visceral imagery of everything from the experience of growing up in a rough working-class neighborhood of Detroit to the struggles of maintaining one’s inspiration and success as an artist. Even with his lyrical progression, Black’s rap styles are unquestionably sharper and more varied than ever. “No Poison No Paradise” is another accomplished full-length solo release for Black Milk, and a return to form for one of hip hop’s most versatile talents. The album features guest appearances by Grammy-Award winners Black Thought (The Roots), Robert Glasper, and Dwele, as well as long-time collaborators Will Sessions, Mel, and Ab.
Clear Soul Forces is next to carry the burning flame for the city of Detroit. Discovered, championed, and mentored by Royce da 5’9”, the four-man group rhymes like genetically enhanced street poets from the 70’s who are here to remind us what album rap sounds like. The vision of E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and producer/emcee Ilajide combines golden era, 21st century, backpack and sub-woofer hip-hop but never sounds dated, derivative, or awkwardly avant garde. These guys are serious performers and hard workers devoted to making music that honors the legacy of Detroit’s legendary lineage. The group emerged in the aftermath of a serendipitous studio session in 2009 where the four emcees scraped together money to record individual music. Royce, who was recording his album “Street Hop” at the time, had coincidentally booked the room next door. The four soon-to-be group members jumped at the chance to kick some rhymes for the local luminary, and the rest is history. By the time the sun rose nine hours later, the four star-crossed strangers were now officially Clear Soul Forces -- and they already had a powerful first fan. After their debut mixtape “Clear Soul Radio”(2010), follow-up EP “The Departure”, an A3C Festival appearance, two SXSX showcases, induction to Red Bull Academy’s Soundstage program, the release of 2012’s “Detroit Revolutions” LP, and performances with Tanya Morgan, Just Blaze, Alchemist, Talib Kweli, and Freeway, Clear Soul Forces are ready to make good on the potential seen by Royce da 5”9”on that fateful night in Detroit. Their new full-length album, Gold PP7s, will be released this September on Fat Beats Records.